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Volunteering abroad with Warwick societies: UNICEF, RAG and AIESEC

The University of Warwick offers many ways to travel whilst you spend your time studying. Whether that be through studying abroad, society tours or even volunteering abroad with societies, here are some ways that you can take advantage of those opportunities and make a change in the world.

Warwick UNICEF On Campus– Anchita Nayyar, President 

Our society supports UNICEF UK in protecting children’s rights by organising our own fundraising and campaigning events. We organise many events in order to raise funds – our annual and most popular event is Fast 24. We also have a school project program which involves preparing a presentation on a UNICEF related topic, which groups of students present at schools around the UK, as well as an Open Mic Night last year and regular bucket collection and on-campus bake sales too!

Moreover, we offer an exciting opportunity to not only get involved “on” campus but also “off” campus with our selective host organisations at incredible locations all over the world. We organised our first trip back in 2015! This year volunteers had the opportunity to go to Zagreb, Croatia, to help the Are You Syrious organisation, and also went to Greece the former year. Alongside “Love and Serve without Boundaries”, Warwick UNICEF not only volunteered in the heart of Greece, Athens – but also an important location filled with an influx of refugees and those in poverty and deprivation. This allowed volunteers to contribute, help and work with children that need it the most, through means such as: cooking and distributing food in bulk, assorting clothes, fun sport activities, music and games, and teaching English.

The students are provided with an experience of helping children in countries where they are in need and lack basic necessities, which hence ensures their summer is meaningful and well spent

It’s an excellent way to work closely with the UNICEF team and help better the lives of children and the most vulnerable in society. We liaise with an international organisation to organise a volunteering program abroad. The students are provided with an experience of helping children in countries where they are in need and lack basic necessities, which hence ensures their summer is meaningful and well spent.

Getting involved is a simple process: an email will be sent to all members around mid-January, which is followed by a lecture shout-out revealing the chosen country for summer 2020! Non-members and friends who want to join can also get involved by contacting the Volunteering and Outreach officer. The experience that comes along with being a part of a society like UNICEF is inexpressible, and our opportunities to travel abroad and actually see the difference that we are making first-hand is a truly moving and unforgettable feat.

WARWICK RAG– Berkan Marasli, President 

One way to make raising money for great causes fun is to travel while doing it. Warwick RAG does every year and here is why you should come along!

Jailbreak is the annual charity hitchhike event run by RAG. The objective is to get as far away from central campus as possible within 36 hours in small teams of 2-4 without spending a penny on transport. We love to see what inventive ways teams come up with to end up in places all over the globe such as Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, Lanzarote and even Muscat in Oman! Usually, it all starts off with some incredible fancy dress and large cardboard signs to grab the attention of the public – in whatever country you are in. It is also conveniently timetabled at the beginning of reading week so you can spend longer than the 36 hours to explore the location your team gets to. It all starts when you attend the Jailbreak Information Meeting on Thursday 17th October (Week 3) which is where you will get the answers to all of your questions and some advice from us as well.

We love to see what inventive ways teams come up with to end up in places all over the globe such as Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, Lanzarote and even Muscat in Oman

For the first time this upcoming year, RAG is bringing Enigma onto Warwick campus. This is another travel opportunity for those interested more in the nightlife of other UK cities. You will be taken to another city, enter a bar crawl full of other Warwick students and finish the night off in the early hours of the next day on your way back to campus from a famous club of the particular city. The location of the city is kept as a mystery until the coaches get to the particular city – this adds an exciting element of surprise! The ticket price will include a charitable donation.

Raiding, or more commonly known as street collections, are another way of travelling around the UK. Charities we work with organise permits for bucket collecting and RAG organises volunteers to take part. Collect for a few hours and then go sightseeing for another few hours before making your way back to campus, or take shifts collecting and exploring – it’s completely up to you and your friends! Some of the most popular ones include the Breast Cancer Now Megaraid in October, and Meningitis Research Foundation’s London Loot in Mid-April, both in the Capital. It’s always good to go exploring in London as a group!

AIESEC– Bhavi Shah

Often the best way to promote peace is to dispel differences through cultural understanding. One of the key ways to do this is through travel – and what better way to elevate your travels than by immersing yourself into the host community either through volunteering or working whilst abroad? This is the philosophy behind AIESEC, the world’s largest youth leadership movement, run by youth themselves.

AIESEC’s twin mission is to deliver peace and the fulfilment of human potential. It does so by facilitating youth to embark on volunteering and internship projects abroad through its products Global Volunteer and Global Talent. The idea is that working in challenging and often under-resourced environments abroad helps develop key personality attributes such as leadership, grit, persistence, emotional resilience and problem-solving.

Simultaneously, it allows for cultural exchange and language acquisition, which are instrumental towards tearing down barriers and establishing peace. Moreover, each project measurably benefits the local community by moving towards one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, so you are in no doubt of the impact you are making. On-going projects are diverse in their scope – including everything from teaching German in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to being a project management intern for social development projects in Singapore. Projects are available in more than 120 partner countries and are typically eight to ten weeks in the summer, allowing for plenty of spare time to go sightseeing, plan day-trips and explore the location.

Each project measurably benefits the local community by moving towards one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, so you are in no doubt of the impact you are making

Moreover, your fellow volunteers and interns are from diverse backgrounds as well, making for a lot of interesting conversations and cultural exchange. You might try some new cuisines, discover a skill you never knew you had, and even learn a new language or two! Plus, the memories you make with a team of like-minded people will be unforgettable. AIESEC will assist you with obtaining your visa and will organise a preparatory seminar to ease any nerves and brief you on what to expect. While there, you will have an allocated local buddy to assist you when needed and you can also approach the host country’s AIESEC team in case of any significant issues.

If this excites you, register your interest in our society or, better even, join the AIESEC Warwick team at the start of this new academic year. We are an ambitious, passionate and friendly bunch who facilitate the process of sending people on life changing cultural exchanges while also developing our own leadership and networking skills!

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